Tag Archives: kale

Fall Cleansing Salad

18 Sep

This past weekend, the weather was in the 90s! It may be mid-September, but apparently Southern California hasn’t quite gotten the memo. Well that’s just too bad because I’m ready for cozy sweaters, cuddling up to loved ones to stay warm on long walks, and savoring my first pumpkin spice latte of the season.

While changing the weather is beyond my control, I still managed to evoke some feelings of fall with this delicious salad. It’s the perfect transition food because it has both the lightness of summer salads and the comfort of winter squash.

The colors of this salad really make it a party in your mouth with hot pink pomegranate arils, orange cubes of butternut squash, bright green kale, and taupe colored pumpkin seeds.

This salad was so good that I ate the leftovers for lunch and then again for dinner the very next day!

Fall Cleansing Salad

Adapted From Free People BLDG Blog

Ingredients:

  • 1 Butternut squash
  • 1 Pomegranate, seeded
  • ½ Cup of sunflower seeds
  • 2 Bunches of dinosaur kale
  • ½ Lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 Teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic or apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil (1 tablespoon for squash and 2 tablespoons for dressing)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with tinfoil. Peel and cube the butternut squash, then toss it in a bowl with oil, and spread it out on the baking sheet. Roast the butternut squash for about 25 minutes, or until tender.
  2. While the squash is cooking, seed the pomegranate, and chop the kale. Place the kale into a large bowl, squeeze the lemon over it, and sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt, then mix it all up. This helps the kale to start softening a bit.
  3. Allow the squash to cool for about ten minutes after it comes out of the oven, and then mix it with the pumpkin seeds, pomegranate arils, and kale.
  4. In a small bowl beat together the mustard, salt, pepper, vinegar, and remaining oil. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and serve! 
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Eggy Breakfast Muffins

21 May

This weekend was my senior prom and it was pretty perfect. I was so incredibly luck to get to go with my incredible boyfriend of three years, take oodles of photos with my amazing girl friends, wear a 1980’s vintage dream dress, win prom king and queen with Goose, and top it all off with brunch and a trip to the local art show with Goose the next morning. All in all, it was the perfect night.

Now, however, the weekend is over and it’s time to return to the real world. The prospect of waking up to a blaring 6 AM alarm certainly is nowhere as exciting to going to prom with the boy of my dreams, but these little eggy cup help make week day mornings a bit less daunting.

To be perfectly honest, my real reason behind making these egg cups was just to use these adorable Martha Stewart cupcake liners that I found at Michael’s a few days ago. They have cakes and party hats and presents, what’s not to love?

These egg muffins are both adorable and delicious, making hem the perfect way to start any morning. For anyone who struggles to get enough veggies into their daily routine, these are for you! They are as fun and colorful as Lucky Charms, but packed with vitamins from the vegetables and protein from the eggs. These little egg cups are perfect to store in the refrigerator and grab one or two with a piece of toast, fruit, and or a cup of milk for a perfectly balances breakfast on the go. Or if you aren’t going to eat all of them in a week, you can freeze them and save them for later.

I ended up using kale, broccoli, red pepper, and garlic because that’s what I had on hand. I did not end up using the tomato shown because I felt that I had enough veggies already, but feel free to use whatever you want. Mushrooms, onions, zucchini, and almost any other vegetable would also taste great thrown in.

Eggy Breakfast Muffins 

Yield: 12 regular sized muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or cooking spray
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced or diced
  • 1 small crown of broccoli, broken into tiny pieces (feel free to cut the stem into small pieces and use it as well)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 5 kale leaves, torn into bite sized pieces without the firm inner stems
  • 8 egg whites plus 4 whole eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a regular sized muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners, the cuter the better!
  2. Spray or lightly oil a medium pan, then saute the garlic for about 2 minutes. Add in the broccoli and red pepper and continue to saute for another two or three minutes or until slightly softened.
  3. Next add in the kale along, 3 tablespoons of water, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir the vegetables then cover the pan for another two to three minutes for vegetables to soften and the kale to wilt.
  4. Spoon in about two tablespoons of the vegetable mixture into each muffin tin. If you have extra veggies, add them in too or save them for another use.
  5. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk, and a bit more salt and pepper. Once combined, pour the eggs over the vegetables.
  6. Bake the eggy muffins for about 20 minutes, or until the tops appear done.
  7. To reaheat, sprinkle the egg muffin with cheese if desired and microwave it for 20-30 seconds. Enjoy!

Homemade Italian Style Vegetable Soup

9 May

The sudden arrival of Spring means two things. One, the weather gets warmer so that frolicking outdoors starts to seem more appealing than slaving away in the kitchen.  Two, the farmer’s markets are full of the freshest, cheapest delicious produce. To take full advantage of the best of both situation, I highly suggest that you make this soup!

Now I know that making soup just as it’s finally starting to get warmer out may seem counterintuitive, but I promise, this really is a good idea… This soup is chock full of delicious vegetables to provide you with energy without weighing you down. By making this soup now, you can have it stored away in your freezer for easy, nutritious meals all summer long. My logic is, stock up now so that you don’t have to think about it later!

Homemade broth

This soup makes a veggie-filled accompaniment to any lunch or dinner. Store it in individually-portioned glass jars in your freezer, so that you can take it out the night before and have a delicious, preservative-free soup ready when you want in.

Mishmash of delicious veggies

This is an incredibly flexible soup to which you can add any vegetables, herbs, or spices that you have on hand. Feel free to add beans and pasta to make it more of a traditional Minestrone. Or top the soup with a bit of pesto to give it a French provincial flavor. You can even substitute the basil, oregano, and thyme for some miso paste and siracha sauce to give it a slightly Asian taste.

Delicious and nutritious and ready to go!

Homemade Italian Style Vegetable Soup

Servings: 8

Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of assorted vegetables in less than pristine condition (onions, carrots, celery, bell peppers, mushrooms, lettuce, leeks, ect)
  •  2 bay leaves
  • 12 peppercorns
  • 3 cloves of garlic, lightly chopped
  • 1-2 sprigs of rosemarry or other herbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1-2 leeks, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced or chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 (28-ounce) can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups of frozen green beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspooon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh or frozen spinach or kale, defrosted

Directions

  1. Dump your assorted vegetables, bay leaves, peppercorns, garlic, and herbs into a large stock pot and fill the pot with enough water to just barely cover the vegetables. With the stove on high, bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. In the mean time chop up and prepare all of your vegetables for the soup itself. Use a strainer to remove the vegetables, and then set the remaining vegetable broth aside. Alternatively, if you don’t have the time, you could skip this step altogether and use boxed or frozen vegetable broth.
  2. Using the same stock pot as before, lightly saute your celery, onion, leeks, and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add your carrots and zucchini and continue to lightly saute for another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Pour in the tomatoes, green beans, basil, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, and broth (from step one).
  4. Allow soup to simmer for 30-45 minutes, then add in the spinach or kale, and allow it to cool for an additional 10 minutes.
  5. Ladle into bowls and serve (or freeze). Enjoy!

Happy Earth Day and Detoxifying Greens Soup

22 Apr

Happy Earth Day everyone! It seems like in today’s technological world that people have created remedies for everything, even that don’t need cures. Say for example, vitamins. Few people actually need to rely on man-made vitamins, if they simply eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of nutrient-rich fruits and veggies. Today people have come to rely on vitamin-enriched gummies and cookies for their daily dose of nutrients instead of focusing on the real issue of how to incorporate naturally nutrient-rich foods into their diets.

Caramelizing onions and mushrooms

Greens in the process of wilting

Just one cup of kale fulfills the daily Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K requirements while also providing calcium, iron, protein, fiber, potassium, and many other important,naturally-occuring nutrients. The greek yogurt, lemon juice, mushrooms, broccoli, onions, garlic, and peppers in this soup further enhance its nutritional power.

Non-blended soup

Blended soup

So if you’ve had too much easter candy or indulged in too many baked goods lately, this is the perfect way to get your body back on track the natural way. Of course it’s still fine to take a daily multi vitamin, but try to begin getting most of your nutrients from whole foods rather than man-made compounds. This not only ensures that you get the most out of your meals, but it also is less invasive and wasteful of the planet’s miraculously nutritious foods.

Ready to serve

As a warning, this soup is not for the faint of heart. My mom and Goose looked at it, and could not believe that I was actually enjoying this green concoction. It’s made almost entirely of vegetables, and as a result it looks and tastes like vegetables. I think it’s delicious and comforting. This soup is a delicious combination of bitter, spicy, and tangy tastes.

Detoxifying Greens Soup

Adapted from Stetted

serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 3 medium yellow onions, sliced
  • 2 cups sliced button mushrooms
  • 
4 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 bunches assorted greens(mustard, komatsuna, mizuna, beet greens, kale, or chard
), chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli, broken into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 
1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt

Directions

  1. In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium heat, then add the garlic, onions, and mushrooms.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until onions take on a nice brown color, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes.
  3. Add the vegetable broth and increase heat to just bubbling, then add the greens and the broccoli to the soup.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and cover the soup. Allow it to cook until the greens have wilted, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Puree soup in a stand blender or with an immersion blender, and return it to heat.
  6. Stir in paprika, cayenne, and lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper.
  7. Just before serving, add a swirl of yogurt into individual bowls.

Date Night: Pizza Two Ways

29 Feb

Goose and I have very different food preferences to say the least. He enjoys starchy comfort food, while I prefer exotic, produce-based meals. Often we try to meet somewhere in the middle when we go out to eat. This past Valentine’s Day when I cooked dinner for us at my house, I decided that neither of us should have compromise our tastes on this special because we could both get to eat what we enjoy by whipping up two quick and easy dishes. We minimized the prep by using pre-made bases and similar ingredients to make two different variations on pizza.

Ingredients for Goose's pizza

I love that pizza is so infinitely adaptable that by tweaking the base and the toppings, you can come up with countless delicious combinations to please any taste palate.

Ingredients for my pizza

For Goose I made a thick-crust cheese pizza shaped like a heart. For myself I made spinach-filled pizza toast topped with kale. For me it was the perfect night of  romance, because we both thoroughly enjoyed our individual pizzas, and then as we cuddled and watched A Beautiful Night, we shared a chocolately dessert. So next time you are planning a romantic night in, don’t feel pressured to come up with a meal to split. You and your partner will both end up happier if you get to eat something you truly enjoy.

Goose’s Pizza

Crust

Add tomato sauce and garlic seasoning

Top with cheese

Bake for 10-13 minutes

Finished cheese pizza made with love

Ingredient:

  • 1 Pillsbury Pizza Crust Classic. Feel free to go all out and make homemade pizza dough; 101 Cookbooks has a great recipe
  • 1 Tbs + 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 cup Pizza Sauce (I used Ragu)
  • 1 Cup Milk Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Open the can of dough and roll it out. For thick crust, double it up. Optional: pinch the bottom together and make a cut in the top, then mold it into the shape of a heart, or make it look like the shape of your choice.
  3. Sprinkle the dough with garlic powder, then add a thin layer of tomato sauce. Top it off with a generous sprinkle of each of the cheeses. Feel free to use whatever types of cheese you have on hand, this is just what was in my refrigerator at the time.
  4. Bake pizza for about 12 minutes, and serve!

Modern Alice Pizza

Boloni with both tomato sauces, herbs, and spices

Add cheese, then top with kale

Microwave or toast it, then done!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Spinach Bolani like the one from East and West, or you can use whole wheat pita
  • 1/2 Cup Dave’s Organic Spicy Heirloom Tomato Sauce. You can try swapping half of it for Cup Dave’s Organic Wild Mushroom Sauce. Or use your favorite store bought or homemade tomato sauce, like this one from The Innocent Primate Vegan Blog.
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese or 1/3 cup reduced fat Mozzarella
  • 1/8 Tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 Tsp dried basil (or 5 leaves of fresh basil if you have it)
  • 2/3 Cup shredded kale

Directions

  1. Top your bolani with both types of tomato sauce, cheese, basil, cayenne pepper, and as much shredded kale as you can pile on
  2. Toast the veggie-packed “pizza” for 3-5 minutes for crisper crust, or microwave it for 45 second. That’s it…eat up!

Whichever way you like your pizza, make sure to really enjoy it. Take the time to savor your pizza with someone you really love, don’t just scarf it down in front of a computer screen. Enjoy lovely readers!